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Sunday, February 19, 2012

Preschool enrollments are spiking in our community despite a stalled economy…why?

Parents are realizing the benefits of preschool! There is an increased demand on our kindergarten students who are expected to read site words and even take spelling tests. It is more important than ever to give our children the foundation they need BEFORE entering kindergarten in order to help them succeed.
Arizona realizes the need for this early childhood education and implemented programs such as First Things First in Arizona.

"Research demonstrates that knowledge and attention when kids START kindergarten are reliable predictors of 4th grade reading ability," said Dr. Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, a prominent researcher who runs the Infant Language Laboratory at Temple University. "If you really want to get kids up to snuff, you have to focus on language development, and you have to start much earlier."

Programs such as TotSpot Preschool, in Gilbert are experiencing huge growth and are quickly building a positive reputation in the community amongst more established, corporate centers. They opened in October of 2010 and have over 170 students currently enrolled. The reason they are experiencing so much growth is because of their unique program focused on education-not childcare. TotSpot Preschool does not offer full time child care and strictly focuses on hands-on preschool education classes for children ages 2 – 5. The program is specifically designed by and taught by teachers who hold degrees in education. Many other preschools or childcare centers do not have highly educated teachers since the State’s licensing requirements mandate that a head teacher be 18, have a GED or high school diploma and have a minimum of 6 months of teaching experience.

TotSpot Preschool also keeps the class sizes small (much lower than the state mandated ratios), provide a minimum of two teachers per classroom and use curriculum programs such as Zoo Phonics and Handwriting Without Tears in order to place more focus on development in the important area of language development.

TotSpot Preschool is a privately owned school and the focus always remains on what is in the best interest of the child. The creator of TotSpot is an Arizona certified teacher herself and created TotSpot Preschool after experiencing frustration in other schools’ priorities and focus. The teachers at TotSpot Preschool are passionate and enthusiastic. They take their jobs very seriously as preschool is the child’s first exposure to their educational journey and it is imperative that the child’s experience is a positive one so that they can continue to build a strong educational foundation to build upon.